David Pham-Martinez SOC 2001 Assignment 1 1. Sociology is the systematic study of social interaction at a variety of levels. In my belief, I believe that sociology means the way society acts around things and how they behave towards it. Various sociological topics interest me such as culture, deviance, crime, and the criminal justice system, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, families and aging, and religion. 2. Functionalism: also known as structural functionalism. Maintains that society is a complex system of interdependent parts that work together to ensure a society’s survival.
Example- a college education increases one’s job opportunities and income. Conflict Theory: examines the ways in which groups disagree, struggle over power, and compete for scarce (such as property, wealth, and prestige). Example- most low-income families cannot afford to pay for a college education. Symbolic Interactionism: sometimes called interactionism. Is a micro-level perspective that looks at individuals’ everyday behavior through the communication of knowledge, ideas, beliefs, and attitudes.
Example- college students succeed or fail based on their degree of academic engagement. 3. Sociologist C. Wright Mills, believed our individual behavior is influenced by social factors where and how others and we fit into the big picture. He discussed about the sociological imagination, which Mills described as the ability to see the intersection between individual lives and larger social influences. The sociological imagination emphasizes the connection between personal troubles (biography) and structural (public and historical) issues.
In the text, Mills noted, for example, that if only some people are unemployed, that’s personal trouble. If unemployment is widespread, it’s a public issue, because economic opportunities have collapsed and the problem requires solutions at the societal rather than the individual level. My opinion on this is that I do agree with Mills’ sociological imagination. We as people do intersect with larger societal influences in our everyday lives. It’s a routine and process but just in different situations that occur. 4.
Stanley Milgram conducted a laboratory experiment that involved forty volunteers that were asked to administer electric shocks to other study participants. This experiment was known as the Milgram Experient on Obedience. In each experimental trial, one participant was a teacher and the other a learner. The teachers were businessmen, professionals, and blue-collar workers. The learner was strapped into a realistic-looking chair that supposedly regulated electric currents. The learner was not actually receiving shock but was told to fake pain and fear.
Whenever the teacher asked the learner to apply a task and failed, the teacher jolted the learners with electrical shocks for them to not to fail again. Milgram’s study was controversial. Ordering electrical shocks raised numerous ethical questions about the subjects’ suffering extreme emotional distress. I don’t believe this practice would be accepted in the United States because this would be considered abuse and will get caught in legal action. I wasn’t surprised by the results. Whenever a person is in distress, he or she will not stop until they accomplish a task in result of not getting hurt.